07 September 2005

reading notes: Letters to Malcolm

I love C.S. Lewis. He's one of my favorite authors. Since I'd never heard of it until recently, I assume that this book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, is one of his lesser known works.

My impression was that this is a book deeply timebound. It's certainly interesting, and there are comments made that are applicable even now, but it is particularly shaped by the times and circumstances of his writing.

These aren't a collection of letters a la Screwtape, by the way. He really did have a friend named Malcolm, and these are his letters to him. Only the letters by Lewis are included, and it's interesting to see how the conversation moves without knowing the content of Malcolm's replies.

wisdom bits:
  • I am afraid many people appear in my prayers only as "that old man at Crewe" or "the waitress" or even "that man." One may have lost, or may never have known, their names and yet remember how badly they need to be prayed for.
  • I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at teh moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.
  • The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
If you like Lewis, and especially if you're familiar with Anglicanism (and the C of E version of it), this is a quick and interesting read.